Twenty-six FFA chapters gathered at Southeast Community College in Beatrice Tuesday for the Career Development Events (CDE) contest.

The contest put students against each other in nearly 20 different competitions ranging from livestock management to agriculture communications.

“It is nice for SCC to host all these students here,” SCC Agriculture Business and Management Technology Program Chair Annie Erichsen said. “We use it for our students to learn how to put on a big event. It is also used as a recruiting activity, and it is just great to get everybody together with these different contests.”

Among the 26 schools competing were Freeman, Johnson County Central, Lewiston Consolidated, Norris, Pawnee City, Sterling, Diller-Odell, Fairbury, Tri County and Wilber-Clatonia.

Lewiston junior Tyler Keyes competed in welding and livestock judging at the CDE contest and said FFA has benefited him through high school.

“It gives you skills for later in life to help you,” Keyes said. “It helps you with people skills and in future farming areas.”

Tri County freshman Cody Rumbaugh who participated in livestock management and meat identification said FFA has taught him leadership skills in addition to teaching him about agriculture.

To prepare for their events students worked in their regular classes as well as outside of school.

FFA adviser John Robison said FFA is always expanding the areas the club reaches.

“FFA is not only educating students in agriculture production, but also education students about where their food comes from and how their food is processed,” Robison said. “It lends itself to a much broader range than just farming.”

Students competed at Ford Hall, Truman Hall and SCC’s agriculture campus during the event. The competition gave students an opportunity to do well enough to be able to go to FFA state convention that will be held in Lincoln April 9-11.

“It is just great event that we look forward to every year,” Erichsen said.